Praying for Snow

Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

Last Friday, the end of the first week of February, Bill called my attention to the amazing mock-cherry trees in full-out, glorious, pink bloom on Main Street Senoia. Three days ago he told me I needed to check out the daffodils shaking their pretty little yellow hats in our side yard. Then I saw Miss Merle’s yard was full of these sweet harbingers. Had I forgotten and Spring begins on February 10th? Had I also forgotten, as Bill reminded me, that these early blossoms would almost surely succumb to a huge dip in temperature, that a frost even, was still not unlikely…perhaps even snow! In fact, that is when we most often experience that soft, powdery delight here in the Deep South – in February or March.
I remember when one of the biggest snow storms ever to hit the Southeast spoiled my daughter’s fifth or sixth birthday party planned for Saturday afternoon February the 8th at the Pink Dipper Ice Cream Parlor. (Forgive my memory; it was almost 45 years ago!) That Friday afternoon before the party the next day, I had to call my cousin who had a four-wheel drive jeep to pick me up at the Farmers and Merchants Bank where I worked, and leaving my car till the following Monday afternoon when we could shovel it out, he drove me to Lad and Lassie Montessori School to pick Leslie up and drop us off at our home in Hammond Hills subdivision. By four o’clock on Friday, eight inches of beautiful, pristine snow covered the Augusta National Golf Course and all of North August, S.C. (just across the Savannah River), which was our home for many years. Turned out we canceled the Pink Dipper event, but had a big party all weekend!
Before dark that day, our best friends the Dansbys had trudged the five or six blocks from their home, bringing their two kids, a big pot of Bobby’s venison stew, overnight clothing, their dog Hunter, (a lovely Brittainy Spaniel), and Merle’s infectious laugh! More snow was expected, possible power outages, and we had a fireplace; they did not. Like yesterday, I can see the dogs—we had a big, blond collie/retriever mix named Teeny—leaping like bunnies in the gleaming, white drifts. The kids were playing in the street in front of our home which sat on a corner lot, with a walk-out basement in the back yard with a little stream, tons of ivy and a tiny bridge. A fairy land by 10 o’clock Saturday morning. We had no sleds; garbage can lids did just fine
We enjoyed a hilarious weekend; the kids playing games in front of the den fire, the adults playing non-stop Bridge at the kitchen table—coffee perked continuously and hot chocolate was consumed by the gallon. There was a pool table in the basement, but we had to wear jackets and hats down over our ears to enjoy a game of Eight Ball—that area of the house never warmed up, and the floors were continually wet from the dogs and kids coming in and out, shaking remnants of icy snow onto the tile floor. Coats, hats, gloves and boots were strewn all over the bathroom, and would be moved upstairs to the hearth when it was time to “heat them up” before heading outside…sometimes for the big snowball fights with just the bright light of the winter moon reflecting off the white, white surface. The best Birthday Party ever! There was a bakery cake and … Snow Cream! Simple recipe. Milk, vanilla and lots of good, clean snow (Be careful! No yellow stuff). HaHa!!
I don’t know about you, but I have “written” myself into the mood for a big ole beautiful snow storm. Nothing on the weather radar, sunny and warm (well, 59 degrees) today, rain this week and most of next week. I may have to call my young friend Rowan. Her mother tells me she has a magic recipe for Snow. It involves placing a cold spoon under your pillow, then sleeping in your PJs turned wrong-side out! If we all close our eyes very tight, and wish really hard, maybe, just maybe we will wake up to a snow-covered lawn tomorrow morning. I’ll call the Dansbys so they can get a head start; it’s a three hour drive and longer in the snow!
Seriously, I do long to relive those “Snow Days,” those long, slow days after the kids and I had listened to the local radio station till the school closings pronounced “Aiken County,” when we would cheer loudly and jump back in bed with hot chocolate and a pile of story books. Later, after a warm breakfast of oatmeal and cinnamon toast, we headed outside with mittens flying and layers of clothing swaddling us till we looked like the Michelin Tire Man! Our neighborhood soon sprouted little snow-people in all types of incarnations, cowboy hats, superhero capes, Dad’s old ties, carrot noses and prune eyes, and by lunchtime we were soggy, cold, and hungry! Time for Campbell’s Tomato Soup and Toasted Cheese Sandwiches. Yum.
Oh, to be a kid again… or even the mom of elementary-aged kiddos. And to go to bed on a cold winter’s night, praying for SNOW! Oh well. Spring is obviously just out the window and looks like we, unlike the East Coast, will have to wait till next year…unless…that spoon under the pillow thing works.

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